Cutting business and charity regulations

MCS and micro hydro

The recently released proposals for MCS accreditation of installers for small hydro is inappropriate and unworkable.

Proposed accreditaion standard is objected to by working hydro memebers of the Hydro Working Group – so much for an "industry led" process. How can an Installer Standard be issued with so much industry led objection to it?

In partcular the requirements in Appendix A are virtually impossible to fullfill.

I have 15 years experience as an engineer working in small hydro , and I could not fulfill the requirments of Appendix A.  They are impractical, unnecesary and expensive.

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Repeal the Tobacco Display Ban

The last government passed a regulation that would require shopkeepers to
hide tobacco products that they have for sale in their shops.  As the
public affairs manager for the largest trade associations in the UK that
represents small independent shops, the National Federation of Retail
Newsagents, I know just how small retailers feel about this pointless
legislation.  Our members are very hardworking people.  Most own only one
store in which they and their families work for up to fourteen hours a day.
Most do not have the time to participate in internet debates such as this
and many do not use the internet at all.  However, responsible retailers do
play a very important role in preventing young people from smoking.  Every
day, the vast majority of retailers viligantly refuse minors who are trying
to buy cigarettes and often suffer verbal and physical abuse as a result.
They are at the front line when it comes to preventing underage smoking
which is now at a lower level than ever before.

This legislation will harm them in many ways without stopping one person in
the UK from smoking or starting to smoke.  Here are the facts:


1.  It will cost each shop £1000 to implement


2.  Shopkeepers need to be consistently vigilent in monitoring their shops
or they risk getting robbed or assaulted.  If they have to search for a
tobacco product in its hiding place everytime someone wants to purchase
them, they will be distracted and at risk.  In short, retail crime will
increase


3.  Our members are constantly under threat from the ever spreading Tesco
Expresses, Sainsbury's Local etc.  This rule will put them at a further
competitive disadvantage to those big businesses who will be better able to
afford it and adapt to it.


4.  There is not one shred of credible evidence that there is any need for
this legislation.  It has failed to reduce smoking in every other country
that has introduced it.  In fact, in Canada and Ireland, smoking has
increased since display bans were introduced.  This could be because,
minors become more interested in things that they see adults hiding away.


For these reasons, we call on the coalition to repeal Section 21 of the Health Act 2009 and related regulations – something
that both coalition parties promised to do before the election. We also
call on the coalition to instead work with, not against, retailers in
stopping young people from starting to smoke

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A bone on contention with most people is the fact that people are getting the winter fuel allowance who do not need it – people living abroad, people with large properties etc.

Could this allowance not be "means tested" by being linked to Council Tax?

For example:

Council Tax is paid by people in this country when they live in a property.  So as an example, someone who is living in spain would not be paying council tax on a property in England, or if they are still registered, would be getting a discount such as "second home".  If they are getting this discount, they would not be allowed the winter fuel payment, as they are not living in the property.

 

Also council tax bands – most elderly people live in a property in bands A, B, or C.  a property with a band D is normally a large family property.   Winter fuel payments could be linked to the property band, so as those in Bands A – C get the payments.  Those who live in the larger properties shouldn't need it, therefore would not qualify.  That would allieviate the millionaire pensioners who still get the payment.

As local government already have this data, it could be shared with the DWP (as other information currently is) so would not cost a great deal to implement.

 

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